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  • Ellie Davis, University of South Carolina

Tigers Vs. Gamecocks: A Map Battle for the Ages

For the first time in YouthMappers History, Clemson and University of South Carolina faced off in a Map Battle to see which school could commit the most edits in a two-hour window.

Long time rivals, as the two major football schools in South Carolina, the University of South Carolina YouthMappers Chapter first issued the challenge via Instagram and Twitter. Quick to respond, Clemson Mappers accepted the challenge and set the date for April 20th between 12 and 2 PM.

Based on input from the USAID GeoCenter’s Chad Blevins, the two schools chose Task 4147 in Akure, Nigeria where a YouthMappers member created a task to map informal trash disposal sites.

The day of the Map Battle dawned clear and sunny. Mappers prepared by eating pizza, listening to music, and doing finger stretches. Finally, at 12:00 PM, they logged in and began mapping. Chad Blevins made an appearance via video chat to describe the task and encourage participants to apply for the USAID Virtual Internships. A video feed continued between the two universities throughout the Map Battle. University of South Carolina had a special guest, an undergraduate student from the north of Nigeria who heard about the Map Battle through fliers placed around campus.

At 2:00 PM, the final edits were submitted though participants kept mapping if they were able to stay. In total, 3,944 edits were made by approximately 24 mappers in 2 hours. Clemson narrowly beat University of South Carolina 2,016 to 1,928. Everyone agreed it was a fun and educational event and it attracted many new mappers.

The Map Battle is planned to be an annual tradition, especially since next year the University of South Carolina Gamecocks will be victorious!

Ellie Davis is a graduate student in the Geography Department at University of South Carolina studying coastal agricultural impacts of sea level rise. Previously, Ellie was the President of the George Washington University Humanitarian Mapping Society where she spoke at the launch of YouthMappers on Capitol Hill. Ellie is passionate about open source software, research, and information and plans to pursue this passion through both her research and her participation in YouthMappers.

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